FYI Miami: April 1, 2021
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
CONSTRUCTION SLIDES: Construction starts in South Florida are off 21% in value this year from the first two months of 2020, according to data compiled by Dodge Data & Analytics. The figures, released last week, show nonresidential buildings down 1% while construction value of residential buildings plunged 31% year over year. For February alone, the value of nonresidential starts was 12% higher than February 2020 but residential starts fell 41% in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
BIGGER JOBLESS CHECKS: Florida unemployment payments, among the nation’s lowest, would rise by up to $100 a week under a measure approved Monday by the Senate’s Commerce and Tourism Committee with a new range of benefits of $100 to $375 a week, up from the current $32 to $275. The committee rejected a proposal to raise weekly benefits to $500 and make more people eligible. “We wouldn’t line-item any other costs to any other business or entity we’re running at the same dollar amount in 2021 as we would in 2026,” said Sen. Jason Pizzo of North Miami Beach. “So, we should do the same for people’s lives with food and housing security.”
CEILING ON ROOF PAYMENTS: The Florida Senate today (4/1) is to take up potentially far-reaching changes in the state’s property-insurance system, including allowing insurers to limit payments for many homeowners’ roof damage. Supporters say the bill addresses financial problems in the property-insurance industry, as many customers face large rate increases and others turn to the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. for coverage. In addition to roof-damage claims, the bill also would limit attorney fees in suits filed by property owners against insurers. Opponents contend the bill would lead to higher out-of-pocket costs for homeowners who sustain roof damage and could make it harder for them to find legal representation.
SUSTAINABLE NORTH BAY: The North Bay Village Commission last month passed a green building code – inclusive of incentives for green roofs, electric vehicle charging stations and solar panels in new construction – to help climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. “This ordinance represents an exciting new step in the village’s journey toward becoming a more resilient three-island paradise,” Village Commissioner Rachel Streitfield said. The code, which immediately affects all new development and redevelopment in the village, is based on insights from the village’s Sustainability and Resilience Task Force, Planning and Zoning Advisory Board, village planner and industry experts. In a press note, village personnel highlighted the 79th Street Causeway as a spot with opportunities for green development, citing “several available development/re-development sites.”